Let’s Talk Iran (and stuff)

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Justine Shapiro & “Our Summer in Tehran”

August 9th, 2012

We speak with Jewish-American filmmaker Justine Shapiro. Justine is the former host of the travel series GlobeTrekker and was nominated for an Oscar for her documentary called “Promises,” which gave us a look into the lives of Palestinian and Israeli children in and around Jerusalem. Justine's newest documentary, "Our Summer in Tehran" shows us the seldom seen realm of middle class family life in Iran. In the film, Justine and her 6-year-old son Mateo go to Tehran to spend the summer with 3 families: a religious family with ties to the government; a cosmopolitan, secular family; and a single mom who is an actress.

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Lessons from the Jewish-American Community

July 26th, 2012

The AIPAC membership is only a fraction the size of the membership for the other top two lobbying organizations in the U.S., those being the AARP and NRA. How has AIPAC has been able to reach such a level of influence? How do Jewish-American organizations interact and balance cooperation and competition? How does the community handle internal disputes? Find out the answers to these questions and more from former executive director of American Israeli Public Affairs Commitee (AIPAC), Tom Dine.  Currently, Tom serves as the Senior Policy Advisor for the Israel Policy Forum and will be participating as a panelist in NIAC’s 2012 Leadership Conference this fall.

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Sahar Fathi: Candidate for Washington’s 36th District

July 12th, 2012

In this episode, we had the pleasure of talking with Sahar Fathi, candidate for State Representative in Washington’s 36th district. Sahar spent time working internationally for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and currently sits on the board of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and ACLU-Washington. When she was 26, Sahar started the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington, the first legal clinic primarily for people of Middle Eastern descent in the country. For the past three years, Sahar has worked as a legislative aide to Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien where she is lead policy staff on homelessness, immigrant and refugee issues, public safety, civil rights, energy and green jobs, and the city budget. If elected, Sahar would be the first Iranian-American or Middle Eastern-American woman to serve in any state legislature across the country. To learn more about Sahar, visit www.electsahar.com.

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The Root Cause of Apple’s Discrimination

June 27th, 2012

In this episode, you will hear from Sahar Sabet, a young Iranian-American woman who was recently denied the ability to purchase Apple products from an Apple store in Alpharetta, Georgia. This incident has garnered international media coverage and left the Iranian-American community in outrage. NIAC's Policy Director, Jamal Abdi tells us how sanctions are at the root of the racial profiling/discrimination that was faced by Sahar and many other Iranian Americans across the nation.

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CA State Senate Stands Up for Iranian Human Rights

June 15th, 2012

Recently, the California State Senate passed SR 29, a Senate Resolution authored by State Senator Sam Blakeslee which recognizes the contributions of the Iranian-American community and calls upon the Iranian government to provide basic human rights and political freedoms to its citizens. The Senator partnered with several Iranian-American organizations, including NIAC and Human Rights for Iran in order to take the Resolution from concept to reality.  Tune in as we discuss this latest achievement with Senator Blakeslee.

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Part 2: Assessing the Baghdad Nuclear Talks

May 31st, 2012

Last week, the P5+1 met with Iranian officials in Baghdad to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. While many questions were left unanswered, the one known fact is that there will be another round of negotiations on June 18th and 19th in Moscow.  Listen to a NIAC policy panel hosted last week in DC on the nuclear talks in Baghdad. The panel features top experts and former U.S officials including PJ Crowley (Former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs), Bijan Khajehpour (Iranian Political and Economic Analyst and Chairman of Atieh International), Aaron David Miller (Distinguished Scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), George Perkovich (Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and moderated by NIAC’s very own, Trita Parsi.

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Part 1: Assessing the Baghdad Nuclear Talks

May 31st, 2012

Last week, the P5+1 met with Iranian officials in Baghdad to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. While many questions were left unanswered, the one known fact is that there will be another round of negotiations on June 18th and 19th in Moscow. Listen to a NIAC policy panel hosted last week in DC on the nuclear talks in Baghdad. The panel features top experts and former U.S officials including PJ Crowley (Former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs), Bijan Khajehpour (Iranian Political and Economic Analyst and Chairman of Atieh International), Aaron David Miller (Distinguished Scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), George Perkovich (Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and moderated by NIAC’s very own, Trita Parsi.

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The State of Iran’s Cyber Repression

May 17th, 2012

Recently, Collin Anderson, Washington-based Internet researcher  discovered a “Request for Information” or RFI issued by Iran’s Ministry of Information that raised questions about the government’s claims for setting up a “Halal Intranet.” What is the state of Iran's cyber repression? What is the impact of U.S. sanctions and export controls on Iranian's access to Internet communication? What can the U.S. government do to counter Iranian government cyber repression? These questions and more with Collin Anderson.

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Oil Embargo: Third Time’s a Charm?

May 3rd, 2012

How effective is an oil embargo on Iran? Will a third oil embargo bring about change in the Iranian government's stance on their nuclear program? What are the Iranians doing to prepare in order to prevent their economy from collapsing? What are those countries who used to be consumers of Iranian oil doing to make sure their oil needs are still met? What are the unintended consequences of this embargo? These questions and more are answered by Dr. Sara Vakhshouri, President at SVB Energy and former advisor to the Director of the National Iranian Oil Company International.

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Cyrus Habib: Candidate for State Representative (WA - 48th District)

April 19th, 2012

In this episode, we had the opportunity to talk with Cyrus Habib, candidate for State Representative in Washington's 48th district. Cyrus is a technology lawyer and community volunteer who grew up in Bellevue. He’s a former Rhodes Scholar and Yale law graduate who currently serves as a Human Services Commissioner for the city of Bellevue and Trustee of the Bellevue College Foundation. Cyrus’ accomplishments and accolades are numerous, but perhaps what makes his story most compelling is that he achieved all of this despite losing his eye sight at the age of eight and despite being a three time cancer survivor.

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